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Get Rhythm



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016



Round 11 of 19


Hungaroring, Budapest


July 25 - 27
Qualifying • Saturday July 26
Race start • Sunday July 27


70 x 4.381
Pirelli: White (soft) and Yellow (medium)

“I’ve always enjoyed the Hungaroring, but because it’s so tight and twisty it’s maybe not the ideal layout for a grand prix. It’s like Monaco without the walls. It’s one of those weird situations where the driving is very satisfying but the racing, perhaps, is not. It’s a great, great track in qualifying, where you’re driving on low fuel and fresh tyres - there’s no let up and you’re completely in the moment. In a race though overtaking is difficult because the track is quite narrow and that exciting sequence of corners doesn’t give you the opportunity to line up a pass.”
Red Bull Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo

Track records:

Best record at this venue:
4 wins: Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton 11 wins: McLaren

Lap record:
1:19.071 = 199.461 km/h • M. Schumacher (Ferrari) 2004

Best Moments

1986: history is made as Budapest stages the first World Championship Grand Prix behind the so-called ‘Iron Curtain’. Some 200,000 fans use watermelons to keep cool as Nelson Piquet defies the heat, dust and Ayrton Senna to win for Williams.

1989: British bulldog Nigel Mansell, in his first season with Ferrari, defies the Budapest qualifying odds and comes through from 12th on the grid to take one of his most famous victories.

1997: So near and yet so far as Damon Hill takes Arrows to within a lap of their first Grand Prix victory, leading for almost the entire race before being pipped by former Williams teammate Jacques Villeneuve. Arrows never did win a race…

2010: Australian Mark Webber fires in a series of stunning mid-race laps to buy the breathing-space that allows him to beat Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in one of his best-judged F1 victories.

Man of the Moment

Let’s give it to the latest in the succession of Flying Finns, namely Valtteri Bottas of Williams. Two seconds and a third in his last three races, and his front-row start in Germany last weekend, underline the talent the team spotted in him when he was winning GP3 races all over the place en route to the 2012 title. He learned a lot in last year’s school of hard knocks with Williams, so much so that insiders are beginning to talk of him as a future World Champion. He’s too level-headed to be doing that himself just yet…

Big issues

Mechanical grip: with its lack of straights and a lay-out where every corner seems to lead into the next, the Hungaroring requires high downforce levels for its slow corners and recurrent acceleration in low gear. It’s a good job the drivers can look forward to their four-week break before Spa: they won’t be getting much time to draw breath round here!

Qualifying: with 13 winners from pole in the previous 28 meetings, and given the tight confines of the track, it’s clear that being as high up the grid as you can get brings its advantages. That fact has been underlined by Lewis Hamilton in recent years: the Englishman has claimed three of his four Budapest victories from pole. This is also where Lewis claimed his first win in a Silver Arrow.

Transitions: this is traditionally the time of year when technical folk are looking forward to next season’s car as well as continuing the development of their current contender. Changes for 2015 (low noses, redesigned skids, engine tweaks) mean it will be tricky to maintain that double focus.

Driver moves: it’s also the time when the whiff of contractual ink is in the air, leading into the annual frenzy at Monza. Already Lotus have announced the re-signing of Pastor Maldonado (“a renewal of vows after a tough honeymoon”, as Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi put it) but they are being much more guarded about Romain Grosjean, who is manifestly not happy with a feeble return of eight points so far. Ferrari, meanwhile, have felt it necessary to express satisfaction with returnee Kimi Raikkonen, who languishes eight places and 68 points behind team leader Fernando Alonso.

Quote of the week

It’s not often a rookie comes up with the most penetrating comments on a particular race, but the wealth of experience that today’s youngsters amass before hitting F1 means they are often heading to familiar territory. That’s the case this weekend for Toro Rosso’s Russian recruit Daniil Kvyat so let’s hear what he thinks about the Budapest venue:

“Hungaroring is on the list of my favourite tracks with its flowing nature and fast chicanes and corners, which you need to attack a lot. That’s what I really love about this track. There’s no time to rest there… You can get stuck behind slower cars, which is frustrating, and that’s why it is important to get as good a grid position as possible. It can be very hot and from a physical point of view, Budapest can be tougher than Malaysia. It makes for a demanding and challenging weekend.”

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